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Special Needs School Renovation

Digicel Foundation's $43.9 Million Investment Paves the Way for a Cutting-Edge Special Education Center in St. Elizabeth and Manchester

BANNER (1080 x 720 px) (2)Kingston, Jamaica- June 12, 2023: Responding to the surging need for educational support for children with disabilities, a special education centre has been inaugurated in St. Elizabeth. The state-of-the-art facility was made possible by a generous $43.9 million investment from the Digicel Foundation.

The Santa Cruz Special Education Centre, formerly the Santa Cruz Basic School, serves students with mild to severe intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Ministry of Education and Youth’s (MoEY) Region 5, offering educational and vocational training programmes.

The institution will feature a groundbreaking Assessment Centre, which will provide evaluations and personalized assessments, empowering educators, parents, and caregivers to tailor educational plans to each child's unique needs.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Thursday, June 08, 2023, Mrs Nevadeene Gallimore Miller, the Acting Director of Regional Education Services in the MoEY’s Region 5, revealed that after recognising the urgent need for intervention for children with special needs in the area, the Education Ministry promptly initiated efforts to secure the necessary funding to address the critical issue.

“In 2019, the Ministry of Education’s Region 5 surveyed the special education landscape, which recognized the need for greater support. The data showed that the region had an excess of 1,000 students who were of concern and did not have adequate access to special education assessment and support,” said Mrs Gallimore Miller.

She added that the survey led to the Ministry crafting a proposal to the Digicel Foundation for funding.

The Honourable Marsha Smith, State Minister in the Ministry of Education and Youth, applauded the Digicel Foundation for their continued support and investment in the Special Needs sector. "Digicel, through your Foundation, you have shown your corporate responsibility in embracing the vision for education for all, and we thank you for the significant investment that you have made in supporting our schools island-wide."

Chief Executive Officer of the Digicel Foundation, Charmaine Daniels, shared that the $43.9 million investment in Santa Cruz Special Education Centre underscores the Foundation’s commitment to providing exceptional educational opportunities for special needs children. She said, “We are thrilled to unveil this school, which represents a significant milestone in our mission to empower and uplift special needs children. The Assessment Centre and Vocational Training programme will revolutionize the way we educate and support these incredible individuals, ensuring they reach their full potential.”

Digicel Foundation | Jamaica

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